23 Bede Griffiths Quotes from the Benedictine Monk

Bede Griffiths born as Alan Richard Griffiths and later known as Swami Dayananda, was a British-born priest and Benedictine monk who embraced Eastern spirituality.

Born in Surrey, he had a challenging childhood due to his father’s financial ruin.

His early adulthood was marked by communal living, spiritual struggle and eventual conversion to Catholicism, which led to his joining the Benedictine monastery at Prinknash Abbey.

His interest in Eastern spirituality led him to India in 1955, where he helped establish the Kurisumala Ashram and adopted Indian monastic practices.


Griffiths moved to the Saccidananda Ashram in 1968, where he wrote extensively on Hindu-Christian dialogue.

Despite health issues later in life, Griffiths continued to travel and lecture.

He died in 1993, leaving a legacy that continues to inspire dialogues between Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.

In this article, I have selected the top quotes by Bede Griffiths.

Best Bede Griffiths Quotes


Stillness within one individual can affect society beyond measure. ~ Bede Griffiths.


The main theme of the Bible is the restoration of humanity and, through humanity, of the whole of creation to its original harmony. ~ Bede Griffiths.


God has graced every tradition with insight into the divine mystery, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated-each has a gift to bring to the world. ~ Bede Griffiths.

God had brought me to my knees and made me acknowledge my own nothingness, and out of that knowledge I had been reborn. I was no longer the center of my life and therefore I could see God in everything. ~ Bede Griffiths.

It is no longer a question of a Christian going about to convert others to the faith, but of each one being ready to listen to the other and so to grow together in mutual understanding. ~ Bede Griffiths.

Perseverance is the essential requirement in the practice of yoga. It has to be done day by day, week by week, year by year, until the mind is brought to the ‘still point’ where it is open to the grace of God. ~ Bede Griffiths.

This process of change since my stroke has been very gradual. It is going on all the time… It is partly a physical transformation. The body itself is undergoing great changes. My problem before was that I was living largely from the head; and then after the stroke I got down into the heart. ~ Bede Griffiths.


The need to overawe people and demand obedience from them is powerful and seductive. It is a part of that world that the kingdom of heaven is not of. ~ Bede Griffiths.

You must be ready to give up everything, not only material attachments but also human attachments – father, mother, wife, children – everything that you have. But the one thing which you have to abandon unconditionally is yourself. ~ Bede Griffiths.

Famous Bede Griffiths Quotes

Above all we have to go beyond words and images and concepts. No imaginative vision or conceptual framework is adequate to the great reality. ~ Bede Griffiths.

Atheism and agnosticism signify the rejection of certain images and concepts of God or of truth, which are historically conditioned and therefore inadequate. Atheism is a challenge to religion to purify its images and concepts and come nearer to the truth of divine mystery. ~ Bede Griffiths.

I suddenly saw that all the time it was not I who had been seeking God, but God who had been seeking me. I had made myself the center of my own existence and had my back turned to God. ~ Bede Griffiths.

I am rediscovering the whole sexual dimension of life at the age of 86, really. And that also means discovering the feminine. So the whole of this dimension, which I had been seeking for a very long time, is now sort of opening itself up to me. ~ Bede Griffiths.

I think the Mother is gradually revealing itself to me and taking over. But it is not the Mother alone. It is the Mother and the Father, the male and the female, sort of gradually having their marriage. ~ Bede Griffiths.

This is criterion by which the Church is to be judged, not by the forms of its doctrine or ritual, but by the reality of the reality of the love which it manifests. ~ Bede Griffiths.

When we approach the Upanishads for an understanding of the Cosmic Mystery, we are coming to the very heart of the Hindu experience of God. This is what we want to try to understand, not with our minds, but with our hearts: to enter into the heart and continually remind ourselves that the Upanishads are intended to lead us to the heart. The Greek fathers of the Church used to say, “Lead the thoughts from the head into the heart and keep them there.” This is to open to the Cosmic Mystery. ~ Bede Griffiths.

This was the very purpose of creation that each unique, individual being should participate in its own way in the divine Being, should realize its eternal ‘idea’ in God, should ‘become’ God by participation, God expressing himself through that unique being. ~ Bede Griffiths.

Top Bede Griffiths Quotes

The inspiration came suddenly again to surrender to the Mother. It was quite unexpected: And so somehow I made a surrender to the Mother. Then I had an experience of overwhelming love. Waves of love sort of flowed into me. ~ Bede Griffiths.

Obedience is detachment from the self. This is the most radical detachment of all. But what is the self? The self is the principle of reason and responsibility in us. It is the root of freedom, it is what makes us men. ~ Bede Griffiths.

I was being called to surrender the very citadel of myself. I was completely in the dark. I did not really know what repentance was or what I was required to repent of. It was indeed the turning point of my life. ~ Bede Griffiths.


I had made myself the center of my own existence and had my back turned to God. ~ Bede Griffiths.

I liked the solitude and the silence of the woods and the hills. I felt there the sense of a presence, something undefined and mysterious, which was reflected in the faces of the flowers and the movements of birds and animals, in the sunlight falling through the leaves and in the sound of running water, in the wind blowing on the hills and the wide expanse of earth and sky. ~ Bede Griffiths.

There is a beautiful expression of this in the Chandogya Upanishad: ‘There is this City of Brahman, (that is the body), and in this city there is a shrine, and in that shrine there is a small lotus, and in that lotus there is a small space, (akasa). Now what exists within that small space, that is to be sought, that is to be understood.’ This is the great discovery of the Upanishads, this inner shrine, this guha, or cave of the heart, where the inner meaning of life, of all human existence, is to be found. ~ Bede Griffiths.

So these were the 23 quotes from Bede Griffiths.

If these quotes and sayings connect with you, check out our other posts on Martin Seligman quotes and Wilhelm Reich quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar